Swing playback - suggestions for long note durations

After dealing with the systematic shortening of crotchets and crotchet equivalents, longer note durations need attending to. However, I fear that a set of Playback Options to handle this might be rather chaotic.

This sample of music is from Duke Ellington’s 1941 arrangement of The Sidewalks of New York, the start of a close harmony tutti passage (swing, 156bpm). In the 16 bars you can see here, there are a couple of short crotches and off-beat notes written as quaver tied to crotchet but the rest are longer notes. All of the semibreves and minims are slightly separated (reduced by a quaver’s worth is a good enough approximation) and this percussive style is typical of the era.

I think only ONE note of a minim or more duration is actually played to its full written duration. That is the double dotted minim in bar 25. So the rule is generally that a long note ending off the beat and followed by a short percussive note is likely to be played to full duration. Most other long notes should be shortened.

Could this be semi-automated in Dorico in a way which didn’t have to result in hundreds of manual overrides where a rule had been applied project-wide. Possibly.

The only thing I would suggest, without trying to be ridiculously complicated, would be to have two switches in Playback Options, one of which would deal with written crotchets as mentioned in the first post “rules for short note duration”:

  1. Shorten the duration of all notes of a minim or greater by one quaver’s worth (or user-definable), but only if the note ends on the beat, not off the beat.
  2. Shorten the duration of written dotted crotchets by one quaver’s worth if they are off the beat and not followed immediately by another note on the beat.

Manual override: it would again be important that a manual override to the shortening of a note would not disrupt its swing placement if off the beat and would also produce the correct end position of the note according to the swing feel (light/medium/heavy etc). As mentioned earlier, I think a tick-box override would be better than trying to use Playback End Offsets which again require you toggle the Start Offset on and off to restore the swing feel.